What did wealthy Europeans eat before the discovery of the Americas?


Ad Honoris
May 2014
What did wealthy Europeans eat before the discovery of the Americas? I'm asking about Northern Europe, Western Europe, Southern Europe, Central Europe, and Eastern Europe separately here.
Sep 2012
Tarkington, Texas
Two types of Bread in Rye and Wheaten. Wheat was paid to the Lord as Rent, Rye was for the Peasants. I would imagine there were seasonal Greens as well for both. Porridge for sure.

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Forum Staff
Aug 2016
While many foods that were native to the Americas were imported into Europe, I'm not aware of any that were considered delicacies that only the wealthy could afford. Spices had been imported into Europe from Asia since Roman times, and only the wealthy could afford them. The wealthy ate more meat than the common people. Knights grew bigger and stronger than commoners because they had a healthier diet. The biggest difference was probably quantity of food rather than quality. In lean times, the wealthy were the last to go hungry. The difficulty of transportation meant that almost all food was locally produced. The easiest way to eat different food was probably to travel a great distance. The wealthy were more likely to travel than the poor were. It was often illegal for the poor to hunt certain animals like deer, so venison was usually only eaten by the wealthy.
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Forum Staff
Apr 2010
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Maybe Robin Hood's men were so merrie because they got to hunt and eat lots of meat.
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Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
Did they just have meat and desert for the feast? Wouldn't they include some starch and vegetables? This is interesting, but does not give an idea of a typical upper class meal.
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